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18th August 2022

Bappi Lahiri: India’s Disco King Dies At 69

Bappi Lahiri: India's Disco King Dies At 69
Bappi Lahiri: India's Disco King Dies At 69 (Photo via-BappiLahiri/Facebook)

Bappi Lahiri, India’s disco King has died at the age of 69. The death of the man who was known for recording disco hits for Bollywood movies in the 1970s-80s comes months after being hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment.

The death of Bappi Lahiri, who collaborated with international stars like American rapper Snoop Dogg and British singer Samantha Fox was announced by his family on Wednesday.

His death occurred on Tuesday evening in Bombay, said Deepak Namjoshi, director of the CritiCare hospital where he died, quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) agency. He suffered from “multiple health problems”, he said. In a statement, the singer-songwriter’s family say they are “deeply sad” and his wife and two children wish “love and protection to his soul”.

Hospitalized in Bombay for a month, “he was able to leave on Monday”, according to Deepak Namjoshi. But his health having deteriorated on Tuesday, he was again taken to hospital where “he died of OSAS (obstructive sleep apnea syndrome) shortly before midnight”.

Collaborations with international stars

Born in West Bengal, into a family of musicians, he is credited with popularizing disco in India. His fans danced, in the 1970s-80s, to his hits produced for Bollywood films, such as Chalte Chalte , Disco Dancer and Sharaabi .

Always wearing chunky gold chains and sunglasses, Bappi Lahiri had collaborated with Samantha Fox for the 1995 Hindi film Rock Dancer . He had also recorded with Snoop Dogg the Punjabi title Patiala Peg in 2015.

Bappi Lahiri had also lent his voice to the Hindi dubbing of Hollywood film stars. In the early 2000s, he won a lawsuit against American rapper Dr. Dre who had used the melody of one of his songs.

Tribute from the Prime Minister

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to him on Twitter on Wednesday, saying his music “touched everyone, expressed many emotions wonderfully”, to the point that “all generations could identify with his works”.

“His vibrant nature will be missed by all. We are saddened by his passing. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” added the Indian leader. Also on Twitter, Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman paid tribute to the “disco king of Hindi cinema”

Bappi Lahiri’s voice “made millions of people dance, myself included”, tweeted Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, “thank you for all the happiness you brought through your music”.

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